Golda Barton said that her son Linden Cameron, who has Asperger syndrome, experienced a “mental breakdown” earlier in the day. It had been her first day back at work in nearly a year. Linden was having trouble coping, she confirmed in an email.
Barton also confirmed she called the police and asked for a crisis intervention team to help her manage the situation and get her son treatment.
“I said, ‘Look, he’s unarmed. He doesn’t have anything. He just gets mad and he starts yelling and screaming,'” Barton told reporters about her call to police. “He’s a kid he’s trying to get attention. He doesn’t know how to regulate.”
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When police arrived, Barton said she heard someone yell “get down on the ground” three times, followed by several gunshots.
“Why didn’t they tase him? Why didn’t they shoot him with a rubber bullet?” Barton told the station. “He’s a small child. Why don’t you just tackle him? You are big police officers with massive amounts of resources.”
Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Keith Horrocks said in a news conference on Saturday that officers had been called to the area because a boy was having a “psychological episode and had made threats to some folks with the weapon.”